Forest department on Friday filed chargesheet against six accused including five policemen in monitor lizard poaching case. Accused eatery owner ArunMahadole was sent into forest custody remand (FCR) for one day by the court, while five accused cops still remained absconding.
Accused cops Arun Bhaskarkar, Suresh Satpute, Promod Dhongre, Vitthal Deshmukh and Gulab Poayam, connected to traffic police department had taken 2kg monitor lizard meat to Mahadole's eatery - Gajanan Bhojnalaya - on Monday night. Sleuths of forest department carried out an intelligence-based raid and seized the meat. But the cops who had brought the meat managed to flee from the spot.
DFO, Chandrpaur forest division, ND Chaudhari claimed that all five accused cops have defied their repeated summons for investigation. Even attempts to summon them through SP, Chandrpaur for questioning proved fruitless. Finally on Friday investigation officer filed chargesheet in the case of monitor lizard's poaching and distribution of its meat.
"We have included eatery owner Mahadole and five accused cops in the chargesheet. Court has given FCR to Mahadole till July 6. Absconding accused cops will now be summoned through the court," DFO Chaudhari said. The accused have been slapped with section 9 and 51 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Conviction under these sections can evoke prison term up to seven years and fine up to Rs25,000 for the crime, he said.